Vocation and Calling: What's Next?
A hot topic of discussion today is vocation or calling. What are we here to do? I think we find this question more and more in corporate circles as the up and coming generation joins the workforce. Our generation is becoming known for job hopping, and part of why we are doing this is because we want to be involved in something bigger than ourselves. We go to work hoping to make an impact. That is part of why we created Candescent Group. We have a desire to influence individuals, companies, and the world. We want to leave a positive impact that will allow us to look back on our lives and think, “I made a difference.” We want to see the product of our work, and also receive recognition for it.
The big question we are left with is how do we accomplish this goal? Society is trying to tell us that we will find our calling through the job that we do. Being a freshman in high school, people would ask me, “where are you going to college? What are you going to study? What job are you going to have in the future? What do you aspire to be?” I was fourteen at the time, and honestly, I had no idea what the answer to any of those questions were. I was still discovering who I was, let alone what I was going to do. As time has gone on, I have studied the idea of calling in an attempt to find an answer in my own life.
I would like to propose the idea that our calling doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with our job. The job we hold is merely a tool that we use in order to fulfill the calling placed on us. For example, I believe I am “called” or was placed on earth to be a leader, to teach, and to help others. As a result, I desired to start this company with Jeff because it serves as a platform for me to be a leader, to teach my employees and those I work with, and to help others reach their full potential. Alongside of that, I am pursuing a Masters of Divinity with the hope of working in a church setting. That will also be a platform for me to accomplish those things I feel called to do. I am sure that you can think of other ways I could do those things as well. After I realized this call, the stress of what job I am supposed to have fell away. Instead, I realized that many jobs can be a good place for me to work because I can strive to become a leader, a teacher, and a helper in whatever situation I am placed in.
So, how do we discover a calling that moves past the jobs we seek? I want to ask you three questions that might help you find a calling in your own life.
What are you passionate about? Ask yourself that question. What do you enjoy? What do you want? What drives you? Start to seek out the underlying “why” behind what you do. I hear from a lot of people that they want to make a lot of money, and that’s what drives them. Why do you want to make a lot of money though? To support your family? To help those in financial need? There is usually an underlying reason or purpose that embodies itself as a desire.
What are the trends of your life? What characteristics come naturally to you? What positions are you typically put into? Ask someone to describe your best qualities. As I looked back on my life, I realized that I have always been put into positions of leadership. Leadership qualities have been developing in me since I was very young. It is only natural that I should have that continue into the future. As I’ve talked to friends and family, I was told that I have always been great at teaching - that they come to me for advice and to talk to because I can help condense and solidify ideas. As I reflected on the tendencies of my life, I was better able to see what I should continue into the future.
What is a need that you can help meet? In our individualistic culture, we often ask, “how is this going to benefit me?” I don’t think this is a good place to start because if we want to make an impact or difference, it starts with those around us. You will find more joy and purpose by focusing on others before yourself. Frederick Buechner wrote, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
What do you think?
Do we put too much value on the task or job, and not enough on the motivation underlying it?
Feel free to comment below!